The risk of the mad cow disease in Lithuania remains low

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), having assessed results of the surveillance programme for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (so called mad cow disease) carried out in Lithuania, confirmed that the risk of this disease in Lithuania is low.

“Although the disease has never been recorded in Lithuania, active BSE surveillance was started in 2001. Over 4000 samples are analysed in relation to this disease annually. A lot of prevention measures are implemented in order to preclude this disease, which is dangerous both for humans and animals. It is very important to retain the status of a country free from BSE in order to be able to develop the export of cattle, beef meat and its products”, – said Mr Darius Remeika, Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service.

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy is a chronic bovine animal disease, which is characterised by degenerative changes in nervous tissue. It is supposed that the disease is caused by a modified protein prion. This disease was for the first time diagnosed in the United Kingdom in 1986 where it reached the epidemiologic level for the reason that animal origin proteins derived from processed bones of ruminants were used for feed of bovine animals. In the process of investigation it turned out that some of them were infected with this disease. In the Past five years, thanks to active preventive actions and surveillance programmes the numbers of BSE cases has been decreasing.

More details about the disease and its prevalence are available on: